Following on from a recent post about jobs you might want to enter into after a career as an English teacher, I thought I would list some of the skills and qualities that TEFL has equipped you with that might appeal to future employers.
Looking at TEFL in a wider career context, teaching engenders many transferable skills that are valuable to employers.
Possibly the skill that is most in demand and the one that TEFL encourages the most. If you haven’t learned to communicate clearly and simply after a few years of standing up in front of a classroom and speaking to people who don’t fully understand your language, then it’s safe to say that communication just isn’t your thing.
This is about being aware of people and their differing cultures, needs and backgrounds. It’s a very important skill in a customer-based job and, again, one that TEFL should have taught you. Years of living abroad has hopefully opened your mind to a global level, and the need to be patient and approachable to your students has made you better able to talk to people.
Project management and organisation
Seeing a project through to the end is a much needed transferable skill. It requires planning, creativity and organization. Your experience as a teacher has taught you the need to plan (lessons/curriculums) and to keep track of progression (student reports etc). Organisational skills are vital in TEFL as you have to keep track of time during lessons and be in control of materials, schedules and workspaces.
Good for your career
Yep, TEFL has pretty much equipped you to be the ultimate worker with a whole heap of transferable skills to throw in your future employers face.
TEFLtastic reported that some people are convinced that TEFL will do nothing to increase your earning power back home. They may well be right, but if you can prove the strength and relevance of your transferable skills and how teaching has encouraged these skills with palpable examples, then it can only help your chances of landing a job. TEFL.net has a very practical transferable skills chart and how your TEFL experience has taught you those skills.